Ashokan Center hosts New Year’s Eve Bash

revelers @Have you put off making plans for New Year’s Eve – to the point where you wonder if you can still get reservations anywhere? Do you feel like you really ought to go out and have some sort of fun that night, instead of acting like a hermit? Welcome to the club.

Fortunately, there is a destination in our neck of the woods that can be relied upon every year to provide a genuinely festive good time on the night of December 31, in the company of friendly people who are more interested in cutting a rug than in tying one on. You’ll not only be able to choose from a healthy dinner menu (vegetarian optional), but you’ll also get such a fun physical workout that you won’t even feel any sense of remorse in the morning due to overindulgence. And the music is guaranteed not to be cheesy. In fact, it’ll swing big-time.

We’re talking, of course, about the annual New Year’s Eve Bash put on at the Ashokan Center by Jay Ungar and Molly Mason’s Fiddle & Dance outfit. And you have several options as to how to participate. You can arrive after dinner – no reservations necessary – and dance your brains out to Cajun, Creole, swing, waltzes, blues, contras and squares from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. for a mere $25. Arrive at 6 p.m. for dinner and it’ll set you back $50, prepaid only.

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But if you want the full-immersion treatment, with the bonus of not having to drive anywhere at all on that night of widespread inebriation, you can sign up for the full Gala Weekend of Music and Dance Heaven, from Saturday, December 29 through Tuesday, January 1. For $495 you get a bunk to sleep in, three hearty meals a day, daytime and evening dances with live music by Jay and Molly and classes in swing and blues dancing styles taught by Cindy Overstreet and Steve Ryan and Cajun dance taught by Corey Porche. A deposit of $150 will hold your reservation. There’s also the option of sleeping off-site while participating in the full weekend’s worth of activities, for the price of $455.

This year’s headline act for New Year’s Eve is the Revelers, from Lafayette, Louisiana (pictured above), playing sizzling Zydeco and Cajun music. Also on hand will be Tunescape and Swingology. Vikki Armstrong and John Krumm will be the expert callers. Expect a mix of seasoned dance geeks, folks who don’t know a Grand Right-and-Left from Grand Central Station and everything in between. By the time 2013 makes its debut, even if you’ve never tried these styles of dancing before, you’ll certainly know enough of the basic moves to throw yourself into the music with gusto and “dance like nobody’s watching.”

The Ashokan Center is located at 477 Beaverkill Road, just a little way off Route 28A in Olivebridge. For reservations, e-mail office@ashokan.org or call (845) 246-2121; visit www.ashokan.org/ashokan/campnyrs.shtml for more information.

Jay Ungar & Molly Mason’s New Year’s Eve Bash, Monday, December 31, 6-8 p.m. dinner, 8 p.m.-3 a.m. dancing, $50 with dinner, $25 dance only, $495 full weekend December 29-January 1 with accommodations, all meals & dance classes, Ashokan Center, 77 Beaverkill Road, Olivebridge; (845) 246-2121, office@ashokan.org, www.ashokan.org/ashokan/campnyrs.shtml.

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